Wednesday January 22, 2020
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UK Regulator Forces Facebook, eBay to Combat Fake Reviews: Report

"Facebook has committed to investigate the issue, said the CMA

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FILE - Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc's F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

Facebook and eBay have committed to combat the trade of fake and misleading reviews on their sites, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said on Wednesday.

Following action from the CMA, Facebook and eBay have signed up to agreements to better identify, investigate and respond to fake and misleading reviews which is a win for online shoppers, the UK regulator said in a statement.

Fake reviews are damaging to shoppers and businesses alike.

“Millions of people base their shopping decisions on reviews, and if these are misleading or untrue, then shoppers could end up being misled into buying something that isn’t right for them – leaving businesses who play by the rules missing out,” said Andrea Coscelli, CMA Chief Executive.

More than three-quarters of people are influenced by reviews when they shop online, and billions are spent every year based on write-ups of products or services.

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The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

“In response to the CMA highlighting its concerns about the trade of fake and misleading reviews in the summer, Facebook has removed 188 groups and disabled 24 user accounts, and eBay has permanently banned 140 users,” said the authority.

While Facebook has agreed to introduce more robust systems to detect and remove such content, eBay has improved its existing filters to better identify and block listings for the sale or trade of online reviews.

Also Read: Apple Marks the Close of 2019 as its Historic Year

During a further sweep of relevant platforms the CMA also highlighted new examples of fake and misleading reviews for sale via Instagram, and reported these to Facebook which operates Instagram.

“Facebook has committed to investigate the issue, said the CMA.

“The CMA is not alleging that Facebook or eBay are intentionally allowing this content to appear on their websites and is pleased that both companies have fully co-operated,” said Coscelli. (IANS)

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Vodafone Quits Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency Project: Report

The Libra project, which is still in development, aims for the launch of its first version this year

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Vodafone logo. Pixabay

Vodafone has become the latest big player who have decided to quit Facebook’s controversial Libra cryptocurrency project.

Vodafone joins PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, Mercado Pago, eBay, Stripe and Booking Holdings in withdrawing from the controversial project — and is the first company to exit after the Libra Association was formed in October last year, coindesk reported on Tuesday.

The companies left owing to concerns about heightened regulatory scrutiny.

“We can confirm that Vodafone is no longer a member of the Libra Association. Although the makeup of the Association members may change over time, the design of Libra’s governance and technology ensures the Libra payment system will remain resilient,” the Libra Association said in a statement.

“The Association is continuing the work to achieve a safe, transparent, and consumer-friendly implementation of the Libra payment system.”

Despite top-notch firms pulling out, Facebook and 20 partner organisations formally joined the digital currency Libra project in Geneva in October.

The Libra Association said that more than 1,500 entities have expressed an interest in joining the digital currency project.

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Representations of virtual currency are displayed in front of the Libra logo in this illustration picture. VOA

Several US senators have opposed Facebook’s digital coin, arguing that the social networking giant has been irresponsible with user data privacy. They have even called the digital cryptocurrency Libra “delusional” and “dangerous”.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress in October about Libra, defending the idea, but acknowledging the struggles left to overcome.

Libra has failed in its current form, according to the President of Switzerland.

Also Read: Digital Transactions in Delhi-NCR Grew by 235% Last Year: Razorpay

In a media interview, Swiss President and Finance Minister Ueli Maurer stated that Libra does not have a chance of being successful “because the basket of currencies that is deposited in this currency is not accepted by the national (central) banks”.

“The project in this form has actually failed,” Maurer was quoted as saying.

The Libra project, which is still in development, aims for the launch of its first version this year. (IANS)